Showing category "Medical" (Show all posts)

Bionic Arms Approved

Posted by on Friday, May 30, 2014, In : Medical 
This week our society got a little closer to the world of Star Wars, as a result of the DEKA project and inventor Dean Kamen. After eight years of development and testing, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. (and presumably soon other regulators around the world) have approved the first prosthetic arm that can be controlled entirely by signals from the brain. 

This project was funded by DARPA (and therefore the Pentagon) as a means of aiding veterans and other amputees to regain usage...
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Robotics Limbs

Posted by on Monday, September 30, 2013, In : Medical 
This past week the New England Journal of Medicine reported an interesting advance in prosthetic limbs - the development of nerve controlled robotic limbs. The original article can be accessed here.

Although robotic hands and arms*, and even a few experimental legs have been built before in robotics labs around the world, this new result incorporates the patient's original nerves in a new way. Specialized surgeons redirect the severed nerves into part of the thigh muscle, resulting in small mu...
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Bionic Printing

Posted by on Monday, July 8, 2013, In : Medical 

By now most of the sort of people who read my blogs are aware of the rise of 3D printing. These are the new machines that use molten plastic (or other substances) to print objects layer-by-layer. They are already being used to produce everything from cable clips, to replacement parts, to toys, to sculptures, and as the prices are now dropping below the $1000 range they can be expected to be a common household item over the coming decade. 

However researchers at Princeton University have found...


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Coma Communications

Posted by on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, In : Medical 
There is an interesting new research study in the field of neuroscience that I thought deserved a comment. (I must admit as well that I haven't read all the details yet, so I could be incorrect or inaccurate - anyone who is seriously interested in this subject should read the original work instead of relying on my summary)

Scientists have finally been able to communicate indirectly with patients who are in a vegetative state.  The method involves placing patients inside of an fMRI machine, whi...
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Searching for the Cure

Posted by on Thursday, October 25, 2012, In : Medical 
For those who would like to help with the search for a cure for cancer, but lack the PhD and million-dollar laboratory, there is a new project online called ClicktoCure. After a brief tutorial online, users look at microscope images of tumor samples and identify different types of cells. Then the scientists running the project can compile the data to analyze trends and hopefully find improved methods of treating cancers.
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Customized Cancers

Posted by on Thursday, July 12, 2012, In : Medical 
There is an interesting result from the cancer research community today, which could be a major breakthrough in treatment methods (although it is admittedly very unscientific).

An oncology researcher in the U.S. had been diagnosed with leukemia several years back, and had undergone several rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately each time his cancer would go into remission and then return again later. The latest rounds of treatment were not having any significant effect at all.

So his fellow rese...

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Cyclotrons & Isotopes

Posted by on Friday, March 9, 2012, In : Medical 

There has been an interesting announcement from one of the teams at the TRIUMF national laboratory on the subject of medical isotope production. They are claiming that they have been able to produce a radioactive isotope known as Technetium-99m in a particle accelerator / cyclotron instead of a nuclear reactor. If there results hold up to scrutiny (which they should) and if it is economical, this could have a major impact on medical physics and on government policies on nuclear reactors.

Many ...


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About Me


Dr. Chris Bird I am a theoretical physicist & mathematician, with training in electronics, programming, robotics, and a number of other related fields.

   


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